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Redskins get back to balance between run and pass against Eagles

Redskins get back to balance between run and pass against Eagles

PHILADELPHIA—One of the topics of conversation this week at Redskins Park was how the team has seemed to have abandoned the running game during their two-game losing streak. Top back Rob Kelley had just 14 carries in the team’s losses to the Cowboys and Cardinals. Even offensive coordinator Sean McVay, who calls the plays, admitted that the team got away from the run when it wasn’t necessary, especially in Arizona.

They didn’t exactly wear Kelley out today against the Eagles but they were balanced on offense and that helped them break that losing streak. McVay called 23 pass plays and 22 runs. The Redskins managed 334 yards of offense, they were able to put together four touchdown drives, and get the win.

Chris Thompson didn’t carry much but he had the winning touchdown run. The Redskins trailed 22-21 at the two-minute warning and had the ball at the Eagles 25. Thompson took a pitch to the left from Kirk Cousins, eluded a tackle from defensive end Vinny Curry, and all of a sudden he found wide open spaces. He said it was because “Trent Williams was out there doing Trent Williams things”, meaning that the Pro Bowl left tackle was out in front blocking defenders in the open field. The speedy Thompson followed the blocking, cut back to his right a bit, and scooted in for the touchdown.

“We were getting man-to-man,” said Redskins coach Jay Gruden. “We motioned over there and faked a little jet sweep to DeSean [Jackson]. We just down blocked and pulled our tackle and hopefully get five yards. I was hoping for 5, 6, 7 yards and run the clock down to get a field goal but the touchdown was great.”

For his part, Thompson really wanted no part of a field goal try. He recalled Dustin Hopkins’ 34-yard miss against the Bengals in London. Although scoring on the play did leave the Eagles with enough time to drive deep into Redskins territory, he was happy with it just the same.

“What if the field goal gets blocked?” Thompson asked. “What if the snap gets bobbled or something?”

He didn’t mention it, but Hopkins did miss a 38-yard field goal try by bouncing it off of the left upright earlier in the game. The end zone was the way to go.

Kelley also ran for a touchdown, this one from 22 yards out in the second quarter. The two runs don’t sound like much but it was the first time since at least 2004 that the Redskins have had two touchdown runs of over 20 yards in the same game.

It wasn’t a monster game for the rushing attack in general or for Kelley, who had 16 carries for 63 yards, in particular. But he made some plays and the team won and after what had transpired the last two games the Redskins will take it.

MORE REDSKINS: 5 observations from Redskins' narrow win over Eagles

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2018 NFL Draft Predictions: Where will the Edmunds brothers go?

2018 NFL Draft Predictions: Where will the Edmunds brothers go?

NBC Sports Washington’s four-part digital series ‘E-Boyz’ -- chronicling the illustrious past, decorated present and bright future of the Edmunds family -- is NOW LIVE. Check out a new episode daily, leading up to the 2018 NFL Draft. Watch the fourth episode above and more here.

After this weekend's NFL Draft, the Edmunds family will go from having one son in the league to three. 

Trey is already on the Saints, but Tremaine and Terrell aren't pros just yet. So, when will they be taken? Here's a collection of predictions from NBC Sports Washington's NFL crew regarding the middle and youngest Edmunds brothers.

TREMAINE

JP Finlay: The Niners at nine. John Lynch won't be able to get past Edmunds' combination of size and speed, and the elite potential of the just 19-year-old. Remember, too, San Francisco might not have Reuben Foster this fall.

Rich Tandler:  Tenth to the Bears. Physically, he is a double for Brian Urlacher and he worked out well enough for the Bears that he is headed for the Hall of Fame this year.

Mitch Tischler: No. 9 to the San Francisco 49ers.  We all know Kyle Shannahan loves him some offensive threats but getting an edge rusher that could tally double digit sacks and play both inside and out is going to be too tough to pass up at nine.

Pete Hailey: No. 10 and the Raiders. Jon Gruden won't let the dynamic Edmunds fall any further.

TERRELL

JP Finlay: Kansas City in Round 3. They could use additional depth in the secondary and that franchise knows value when they see it.

Mitch Tischler: The Steelers in Round 3. He fits their scheme, has an nfl body and measured very well at the Combine.

Pete Hailey: Round 3 to the Cardinals. Terrell can learn from Antoine Bethea then fill in for him once Bethea moves on.

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Need to Know: Who will be left for the Redskins to draft at No. 13?

Need to Know: Who will be left for the Redskins to draft at No. 13?

Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, April 26, one day before the second and third rounds of the 2018 NFL draft.  

The players the Redskins will have to choose from at No. 13

As the 2018 NFL draft unfolds tonight, the Redskins are going to look to be able to pick from a group of players when their pick comes on the board. “You’ve got about six or seven guys on that board that you’re hoping is there when you get there,” Doug Williams said on Tuesday. “If you lose one, you put another one up.”

So, who is likely to be in that group? Based on a bevy of mock drafts and big boards plus my own analysis guessing, here are the seven players I think will wind up in that group that will be under discussion when the Redskins pick, in no particular order. 

  • QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville 
  • DL Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
  • Edge Marcus Davenport, Texas-San Antonio
  • LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
  • LB Leighton Vander Esch, Vanderbilt
  • S Derwin James, Florida State
  • CB Joshua Jackson, Iowa

Right off the top, did I forget RB Derrius Guice? No. While the Redskins like him I don’t think he is in consideration for the 13thpick. 

If Jackson is there, the move is to wait for the phones to ring. There is talk that the Ravens, who pick 16th, would like to add him. Moving back to Baltimore’s spot could potentially add a third-round pick and still have at least four of these seven players still available. The Redskins are intrigued by Jackson but with Alex Smith under contract, they aren’t going to draft a quarterback.  

Payne has been a popular pick to the Redskins in mock drafts (such as the one I posted yesterday). He could be a bit of a reach at 13 and perhaps he is a better candidate to be taken after a trade back. I think that Vita Vea will be gone, probably to the Raiders with the 10thpick. 

If Vea does go to Oakland and there is a top-10 surprise like Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey, a hot name lately, then there is a good chance that both Edmunds and James will be available. Let’s do the count as the Redskins would as the first 12 picks unfold. If four quarterbacks go plus Vea, McGlinchey, guard Quinton Nelson cornerback Denzel Ward, running back Saquon Barkley, and edge rusher Bradley Chubb, that leaves two other picks in front of the Redskins. I think those will be cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick and inside linebacker Roquan Smith. That would leave James and Edmunds. Of course, one or both of them could go earlier, leaving Fitzpatrick and/or Smith for inclusion on the Redskins’ list. 

Any one of those four players should give the Redskins pause when it comes to trading down or taking Payne. They need impact players and all of those prospects have potential to be just that. 

Their interest in Davenport may tell us how confident the Redskins are in their ability to retain Preston Smith beyond this year and their confidence in the development of Ryan Anderson. And if they select Joshua Jackson could be a signal that Josh Norman will become a 2019 salary cap casualty. The Redskins reportedly like Vander Esch but he’s a notch below the special talents like Edmunds and Smith. 

If I was presented with this scenario, I’d probably take James. Yes, the Redskins like D.J. Swearinger and Montae Nicholson but they could take James, move him around the defense and figure out some neat name for his position. He would make the defense better immediately. Other needs like the defensive line could be handled later on in the draft.  

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

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Timeline  

Today’s schedule: 8:00 NFL Draft, first round, AT&T Stadium, Arlington TX

Days until:

—Rookie minicamp (5/11) 15
—OTAs start (5/22) 26
—Training camp starts (7/26) 91

The Redskins last played a game 116 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 136 days. 

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